Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
November 9, 2020
Two sightings as I walked.
Category: Travels

A couple things I saw on an afternoon walk yesterday that I wanted to record:

The first: I saw a man getting a haircut in a green space. (I hesitate to call it a yard, though that's probably right -- I have this idea of yards as more deliberately enclosed areas, and these are hilly, grassy areas only bounded by the sidewalk and not obviously yoked to the adjacent town houses.) Notable details about the scene: one, as I encountered them during twilight and they were not using lamps, this seemed rather poor illumination for cutting hair. The other was the cape that barbers drape over clients to shield them from the falling hair -- which, in this instance, was a worn and dingy American flag. The style of haircut the "client" was receiving made me think he might be military, and if that is so I imagine he intended the use of the cape to be a patriotic gesture. It struck me, however, as somehow unseemly.

The second: A black squirrel! I've seen black squirrels in that area before -- though not since the summer, and I crossed paths with the white squirrel elsewhere in the neighborhood much more often. But this particular sighting was odd because of its interaction with the one gray squirrel also in the picture. The black squirrel stayed on the ground while the grey squirrel darted up a nearby tree, ran out along a high branch, and then JUMPED to another tree -- one that was kinda far away, and it looked like a precarious sitch since it landed on the tip of another branch. The squirrel's weight caused the branch to tilt, and it looked like the squirrel might fall, but ultimately it was able to scrabble up the branch safely. Then it looked like it was climbing up and I lost sight of it, so I returned my attention to the black squirrel.

The black squirrel was still on the ground, apparently rooted to its spot as it watched the gray squirrel's antics -- or not, as it didn't appear to be looking up. (Can a squirrel look high up without raising its head?) Then, in intermittent leaps, it slowly made its way to the tree; upon reaching the base it quickly climbed up to a branch about midway up the tree. That branch held what appeared to be a large nest, upon which crouched the gray squirrel. (I assume it was the same one, though if so I'd missed it climbing back down to that spot; the branch to which the gray squirrel had leapt was *much* higher up.) The black squirrel, again hesitantly, inched closer -- somehow the gray squirrel struck me as rather standoffish throughout the encounter, but all throughout the black squirrel's approach it did not flee -- until at last they were crouched together in the nest with roughly a foot of space between them. Then the black squirrel inched closer still, and finally they were shoulder to shoulder. I stayed a little longer (in total I probably watched them for 5-7 minutes), but they were just so when I ultimately left them.

-posted by Wes | 9:11 pm | Comments (3)
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